23 September 2019

Local MPs reflect on Turnbull - Dutton leadership stink

| Ian Campbell
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Clouds gathering around Malcolm Turnbull's leadership. Photo: AUSPIC/DPS

Clouds are gathering around Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. Photo: AUSPIC/DPS

This week’s leadership tension within the Turnbull Government stands in stark contrast to the real-life pressures of fire and drought being faced by many families in South East NSW.

Perhaps speaking with some first-hand knowledge, Labor’s Mike Kelly, Federal Member for Eden-Monaro says the Liberal – National Government risks being distracted by self-interest and missing the job at hand.

“In recent days the Liberal/National Government has announced an extension of the Drought Communities Programme which has seen 60 councils identified as eligible for $1 million in support for local infrastructure projects and drought-relief activities,” Dr Kelly says.

“There are six councils within the boundaries of Eden-Monaro which take up 42 thousand square kilometers of drought-affected Southern NSW. None of these councils, not Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Yass Valley Council, Snowy Valleys Council, Snowy-Monaro Council, Bega Valley Shire Council or Eurobodalla Shire Council received any help from the Liberal/National Government under this program.

“Our councils and our community cannot understand why they have missed out.

“They’re all drought declared and they all have farmers doing it tough, so the Liberals and Nationals need to front up and explain why they have turned their back on our community.

“I have written an urgent letter to the Minister on this matter and I am calling on the Government to stop their infighting for just a few minutes this week and revisit this decision.

“Our councils and our farmers need help, they should have been included as part of the Drought Communities Progamme extension,” Dr Kelly says.

Dr Mike Kelly, Member for Eden Monaro. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Dr Mike Kelly, Member for Eden Monaro. Photo: Ian Campbell.

In response, Liberal Senator and Eden-Monaro local, Jim Molan says, “I know that plenty of areas in New South Wales are doing it tough.”

“That’s why I’ve had two meetings with Minister for Regional Development John McVeigh this week, to discuss how to help other areas not yet nominated by the Government.

“The land is tinder-dry, and the recent bushfires on the South Coast show just how bad it is even there.

“Meeting with Bega Valley Mayor Kristy McBain last weekend in Bemboka, I saw and heard just how challenging it is for communities which haven’t received assistance.

“Plenty of communities are doing it tough, and I’m fighting to get them help wherever I can.

In regard to this week’s leadership question in the party room, Senator Molan says he voted for Peter Dutton.

“The Prime Minister declared the leadership and deputy leadership of the Party vacant.

“In the subsequent ballot, Malcolm Turnbull defeated Peter Dutton by 48 votes to 35. I accept that result and will support the Prime Minister as we provide good government for each and every one of 25 million Australians.

“In keeping with my dedication to open and accountable government and representation, I want to declare that I voted for Peter Dutton in the contest and I owe it to the people of New South Wales to explain why.

“I base my views and choice on the creed of the Liberal Party and the belief that we are a right-of-center party. I am also influenced by the view that the Liberal Party is a broad church. Our leader must hold this broad church together.

“There is a view that the Liberal Party has moved too far to the left over recent years – it is a view that I share.

“Whilst this government has achieved a great many things, the perception that we have moved too far to the left has resulted in many of our supporters leaving us for crossbench parties.

“We will not win those good people back by adopting policies that are closer to the Labor Party of the Greens.

“I believed that Peter Dutton was best placed to bring the party back to a genuine right of centre position.

“A Coalition Government can win the next election if we offer to the people of Australia a real choice between our policies and those of a Labor/Greens government,” Senator Molan says.

Senator Jim Molan. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Senator Jim Molan. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Next door in the Moruya, Batemans Bay, Shoalhaven, Kiama seat of Gilmore, Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis won’t reveal whether she voted for Malcolm Turnbull or Peter Dutton in Tuesday’s leadership ballot but says the concerns of her constituents remain her priority.

“The drought is affecting many regions in Gilmore and I am continuing to work with, and advocate for, our local dairy farmers to raise awareness of the challenges they are facing,” Ms Sudmalis says.

“From the outset, I will make it clear that no-one knows how I voted other than me and that I will never comment on internal Party Room affairs.

“My focus remains on delivering for the Gilmore electorate.

“This has and always will be my priority and the Turnbull Government has demonstrated this commitment through local projects including the Kiama Aged Care of Excellence and the Dunn Lewis Centre in Ulladulla.

“Jobs creation is critical, and through the $20 million Regional Jobs Investment Package we have created 1000 jobs in the region, in addition to the new Local Employment Initiative Fund and Employment Facilitators in Gilmore.

“With more than $240 million already delivered for road upgrades across all three local government areas, I will continue to fight for more funding and safer roads,” Ms Sudmalis says.

Ann Sudmalis

Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis. Photo: AS Facebook.

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It’s funny how so many on the right seem afraid to embrace their right wingedness and try to claim they are centrists or right of centre at worst(Like Mr Molan).

It’s like they instinctively know it’s a bad thing to be right wing and don’t consider themselves bad and thusly they can’t be full on right wingers and therefore are centrists.

If Mr Molan had credibility, he seriously dented it now, by suggesting the very right wing Liberals are shifting in any direction other than further right.

Wendy Hunter3:31 pm 23 Aug 18

How much further to the right will be far enough for them? The dinosaurs need to realise that culturally, socially, and intellectually, Australia has moved on from the fifties sensibilities. What they call “PC”‘ most Australians call “respect”! We are a work in progress, a dynamic cultural evolution! My message to these career pollies and their handlers? Get over it, and grow with us. At least grow up!
If you can’t , then get out of Australias way….because the damage is immeasurable! The Liberal Party, it seems, is a political party with overt disdain for Australian people and the machinations and ethics of govt, Historically, they are the only party ever to refuse Supply in opposition, and their current antics Demonstrate, again, that there is no bottom to their barrel. Their decisions around drought funding is further evidence of politically motivated decision making.

Jim Molan has just lost my vote and I’m considering my options as far as the whole lot of them go…a country in crisis and all these politicians can think of is their own self advancement….I live on the Monaro and can see first hand what this dreadful drought is doing and I heard this morning the councils that missed out on funding “haven’t been in drought long enough”….REALLY…maybe said politicians should get out of their cost offices and come pay a visit. On a brighter note…well done Ian for your great news coverage of the region..

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